Thinking Citizen Blog — Dobbs: Upholds Mississippi Law 6–3, Overrules Roe 5–4

Thinking Citizen Blog — Saturday is Justice, Freedom, Law, and Values Day

Today’s Topic: Dobbs: Upholds Mississippi Law 6–3, Overrules Roe 5–4

Today, three topics: first, how the court split on Roe. Second, the outlook for abortion, state by state. Third, the likely political fallout. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

HOW THE COURT SPLIT: 5–4 on overturning Roe

1. Voting to uphold Roe were: Chief Justice John Roberts (appealing to the principles of judicial restraint and stare decisis), Elaine Kagan (who warned that the decison threatened other rights from contraception to as same sex intimacy and marriage, Stephen G. Breyer (who will be replaced next month by Ketanji Brown), and Sonia Sotomayor.

2. Voting to overturn Roe: Samuel Alito, who wrote the opinion arguing that original opinion was deeply wrong and that the issue should be returned to the people’s elected representatives, Brett Kavanagh, who in his concurring opinion held that “states should not block people from traveling to get an abortion, citing the “constitutional right to interstate travel,” Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Clarence Thomas.

3. “Justice Clarence Thomas called on the court to revisit other decisions, including on contraception and same sex marriage. In his opinion, he wrote that he would do away with the doctrine of “substantive due process” and explicitly called on the court to overrule the rulings in Griswold v. Connecticut, on the right to contraception; Lawrence v. Texas, on the right to same-sex intimacy; and Obergefell v. Hodges, on the right to same-sex marriage.

THE OUTLOOK STATE BY STATE — huge variation; global context

1. Thirteen US states have “trigger laws” — that would ban or curtail abortion immediately after a Supreme Court overruling of Roe: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.”

2. Only five countries in the world have no national gestational limits on abortions — China, Vietnam, Canada, and the United States.

3. Only two more have gestational limits beyond 20 weeks: Singapore (24 weeks) and the Netherlands (24 weeks).


1. Polls have consistently shown that the majority of Americans supported keeping Roe in place.

2. Will the overturning of Roe prevent a much-predicted Democratic debacle in November?

3. “Devastated Democrats, facing staggering political challenges amid high inflation and President Biden’s low approval ratings, hoped the decision might reinvigorate disaffected base voters. They also saw the moment as a fresh chance to hold on to the moderate, suburban swing voters who have helped them win recent elections.”

NB: “There are a lot of independent women, I think there are a lot of women who haven’t been participating in elections, and are going to engage,” (Governor Gretchen Whitmer)

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending 50 years of federal abortion rights

‘It’s Become Real’: Abortion Decision Roils Midterms, Sending Fight to States

Americans Still Oppose Overturning <em

For the last four years of posts organized by theme:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive

Two special attachments below:

#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).

#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20


Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to justice, freedom, the law or basic values. Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to justice, freedom, the law, or basic values. Or just some random justice-related fact that blew you away.

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart.



Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.